Yesterday at the Gyn clinic I experienced the saddest thing I have yet on rotations. A friend of mine always said to not run away from sadness but just to walk into it and embrace it because it is a feeling to. Since it is a part of healthcare and life I thought I would write about it even though I do not think of myself as someone who likes to say things that are sad. My instinct is to jet.
The visit started out good. Measuring the fundal height (the height of the uterus, a hint at gestational age). I listened to the heart and lungs. We did the pap smear and went to sono. I am standing over my Dr.'s shoulder looking at the screen and the mom is situated looking at a huge plasma screen projection (the facilities are so nice). We located the uterus, the gestational sac. By located I mean I saw this on the screen. There is never any narration till the end of the sono (at least in my experience with this Dr. (i have seen others that do narrate)). We locate the less than 10 week fetus/gummybear. I knew something was wrong when the Dr. turned on the Doppler (an instrument used measure the flow of blood flow through vessels.) The Dr. was confirming what he already knew.
I must break away here and say that the number of miscarriages is in the highest sites in the literature about fifty percent with alot of them happening within the first 4 wks before someone even knows they are pregnant. It is a way more common thing than I think lay people realize.
The Dr. solemnly proceeded to tell the new mom that there was no heart beat and that the pregnancy would not progress any further. He now narrated slowly and quietly what he saw on the Doppler and the sono screen. As the tears rolled down the silent mom's face, I thought of my mom and several friends of mine who have had some Dr. give them this same news probably in the exact same way. I thought of myself someday full of hope and excitement sitting in the sono chair and I, with all my might, held the tears back from falling down my cheeks.
New life is such a miracle. All the things that have to be perfectly orchestrated that sometimes we take for granted for a baby to be born healthy.
I hesitantly post this my intention is not to make your day sad.